Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Life with Lana today (3 years, 8 months)

*We are so glad that spring is here!  Lana is having a blast being outside.  She is constantly on her swingset (thanks, Thigpen family!) or in her car (thanks, Lyon family!).  But above all else, her favorite thing to do outside is take a pole to the pond and fish with her Daddy!  

*She has also become very interested in helping me in the kitchen lately.  I found a great bread machine for very cheap on Craigslist, and we have had a blast making (and eating!) bread together.  She is a wonderful sous chef: loves to measure and pour and crack eggs and grate cheese and put things away and wipe off counters!  How did I ever cook without her?  

*Crafts and projects are her favorite indoor activity these days.  I bought her a little plastic storage unit with shelves and filled it with lots of craft stuff: wooden sticks, sequins, tissue paper, beads, straws, etc.  She will put a plastic placemat on the table and just go to town.  

*At her Easter musical this month, a little girl did a ballet dance, and Lana has been SO into ballet after watching her!  She will dress up and show us her "ballet dances," and keeps asking when she can take a ballet class.  We've told her she has to be 5.  At first, I thought I'd let her give it a shot this summer, but I couldn't do it.  Once we let her start taking lessons and doing things out of her home, it just won't stop.  And because she does go to preschool, which includes Music and Discovery classes, I just don't feel like she needs anything extra.  Not to mention, I just don't want to add one more thing to our schedule!  We really value dinners together and time to walk to the pond and fish, and with Dan working 3 nights/week, we have to guard our time carefully.

*We think she is outgrowing the beloved nap.  She will still lay down and fall asleep, and sleep for an hour or hour and a half, but when we put her in bed at night, she will just lay awake until sometimes after 9:00 p.m.  On the days she doesn't get a nap, she is out like a light at 7:00.  This is kind of a neat stage, because if we have something to do at night like small group and we know she'll be up late, we can make sure she takes a nap and can handle the late night.  But if we want her to go to bed early so we can watch a movie or Dan can study, we let her do quiet time in her room instead of nap, and that works, too.  Thankfully, she is SO GOOD about quiet time.  We let her choose a few things to do in her room (along with the books and puzzles that are already there), turn on some music for her, and she stays in her room and plays until we get her up.  This lets me get a nap if I need it, even if she doesn't!

*She is doing so well learning things at home and preschool: she can write her name, Mommy, Daddy, and Tucker.  She's learning to write our last name.  She is also learning to draw shapes.  Number sense comes very easily to her, and she's beginning to grasp some basic addition concepts.  It's so fun because she just LOVES it.  She's still not quite ready to start blending sounds (a beginning step to reading). 

*Her favorite thing at preschool is circle time - she is SO into the calendar.  I'm thinking of pulling mine down from the attic so we can use it during the summer.  Oh!  Maybe I'll set her up a little pretend school area with it - she would LOVE that!  Her primary struggle at preschool is sitting still in her seat at lunchtime.  She's such a wiggle worm.  We have to work on that at home during meals, too, though, so it doesn't surprise me.  Her teacher says her other struggle is (oh, surprise!!) that she is sometimes a bit bossy.  I can't imagine where she gets that from.  We're working on that, together.  

*The discipline issue we've been dealing with at home this month is her arguing and wanting to debate decisions with us.  If we tell her no, her response is often, "But...."  We are working hard to teach her to do everything we ask without complaining or arguing, and to accept our "no" as happily as she does our "yes."  A challenge, to be sure.

*We are working on catechism with her, mainly through songs called "Songs for Saplings."  Catechism is most often used in Catholic circles, but there is such value is teaching our children the building blocks of our faith.  It's, very simply, theology, presented in the form on questions and answers.  So if you ask Lana "Who made God?"  she will respond "Nobody made God."  Or, the one we're working on right now is asking her, "What happened to Adam and Eve when they sinned?"  The response we're teaching her: "Instead of being holy and happy, they became sinful and miserable."  We began with Who God is and Creation, now we are working through the Fall and Salvation, and then we'll progress to the Work of Christ.  We are really enjoying this!

*The most wonderful thing happening in our home this month is watching Lana and Tucker interact more and more.  His whole face lights up when his sister walks in the room.  She is so careful to take care of him.  If she's in her room playing and hears him fussing in the living room, she dashes out to sing him a song or dance for him.  They are adorable in the car - they just can't get enough of each other.  This relationship just melts my heart.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sweet Home Alabama (part 3) - Bellingrath Gardens

We planned a trip with my mom (Sue Sue) to Bellingrath Gardens while we were in town.  Unfortunately, I came down with the stomach bug the night before, and could not get out of the bed that day.  Dan took the kids and met my mom anyway, and they had such a wonderful day!

My mom's favorite story of the day was that they were walking and looking at all the gorgeous flowers, and Lana mentioned that she was hungry.  Mom asked her could she smell the beautiful flowers, and Lana said, "I think I smell a hamburger!"  (Did I tell it right, mama?)  Hysterical!

And I think they finally got my girl her hamburger, 
with an ice cream sandwich and a Sprite to go along with it: 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sweet Home Alabama (part 2) - a day at the beach

Dan's parents are members at a private club in Fairhope, and we spent 2 days there enjoying the little beach area.  It really was perfect - totally calm water for the kids to play in (although it was QUITE cold still), lots of beach to run around on...we loved it.  I think I could live there.

Just happy to be at the beach...

Tucker's first time in sand

Lana likes nothing better than spending time with her grandparents.
She asks about them almost daily, so this was a real treat for her!

This picture of Dan & his dad is uncanny!  
I can just see what my husband will look like when we've been married 30 years.
They are similar in more ways than just physical appearances, too.
You are looking at two of the most generous, kind-hearted men I know.

Tucker with Aunt Kenzie (Dan's younger sister)

More beach fun
(Click on any of the pictures to enlarge.)

Later that afternoon....

And night.....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sweet Home Alabama (part 1)

Meet our newest niece and nephew!  Carson and Hayden were born on January 27, 2010.  Dan's brother and his wife brought them home on March 16, joining big brother Jake!

Meet beautiful Carson Margaret....

and handsome Bryan Hayden.

So here's the birth order of the cousins:
Jake (4)
Lana (3)
Noah (3)
Sofia (8 months)
Tucker (6 months)
Hayden & Carson (8 weeks)

We are so happy to welcome these two sweet babies into the Davis family.  Sadly, we didn't think we were going to be able to go home to meet them until the summer - it was a REAL struggle for us. 

And then, once again - Nana saved the day!  She surprised us by paying for plane tickets for us to fly home for a week! 

The kids and I flew to Alabama on a Saturday night, leaving Dan behind to work the weekend.  He joined us on Tuesday, and we all stayed until Friday.  It was such a fun, busy, full, wonderful time - we are so grateful to Dan's mom.  She really is beyond generous, and loves us so well.  Thank you doesn't even begin to describe what we feel, Nana.  

Here are some highlights of our trip.

Lana and her cousin Noah Big Wheelin' it, with a helping hand from PawPaw.  (If you look, you can see that Lana is actually falling OFF her Big Wheel in the 2nd picture.)  

Tucker and Sofia getting friendly.  : )
Sofia is Dan's sister's daughter.  She is 7 weeks older than Tucker.  But he's the boss.

Love this picture of Lana & Noah - can you believe our curly headed babies?!

Here's Lana with her cousin Jake...this looks like double trouble to me!

Noah was so funny about Tucker!  I can only imagine when Tucker can chase him around.

PawPaw is always good for some snuggles.

And bird watching.

Some of Lana's favorite things to do with her Nana include putting on makeup, shopping, and doing playdough on the porch.  Seriously - this was one of her favorite things!

Tucker met several family members for the first time.
Here he's with Sis, Dan's mom's twin sister.

And with Tyler, Sis' son (which makes him Tucker's 2nd cousin, I think):

My mom and stepdad live about 45 minutes away from Dan's parents house (where we were staying), so we snuck in a sushi lunch with them.  We miss Sue Sue and Baloo so much!

And just because I love this one....
Found my girl this way while the rest of us were getting ready one morning.
It makes me so happy that she loves books!